Muslim Riots of East Bengal in 1950 – 5.6M Hindus Massacred Or Estranged

Perpetrator: Muslim Mobs

Year: 1950

Number: 5.6 Million Hindus massacred, raped or forced to flee

The Muslim riots of East Bengal in 1950 are one of the most blood curdling massacre of Hindus, which history books omit.

In February 1950, Sukumar Sen, the Chief Secretary of West Bengal traveled to Dhaka to hold the Chief Secretary level dialogue with his East Bengal counterpart Aziz Ahmed. On 10 February, at around 10 A.M, while the talks were in progress, a Muslim woman in blood-stained clothes was paraded in the Secretariat building. Allegations were made that she was raped in Kolkata. This was the beginning of a bloodbath against Hindus, spread through many localities in East Bengal.


Hindus were killed wherever they were found. Their shops and houses were set on fire and looted. Hindus migrating to India were attacked at railway stations and airport. Entire villages of Hindus were annihilated.
An estimated 50,000 Hindus were displaced in just seven hours of murder loot and arson. Another 50,000 out of 80,000 Hindus in Dhaka were displaced and forced to flee to India. More than 1000 Hindus were killed and several thousands injured.


Hindus were killed, raped and abducted indiscriminately. The Hindu passengers on the water route between Barisal and Dhaka were killed within the steamer and thrown in the river. In the police station, 200-300 Hindus were made to squat in a row and their heads were chopped off one by one with a ramda. More than 2500 Hindus were killed. More than 650,000 fled from the district, and many were slaughtered or abducted on their way.


The riots were instigated and organized by Fazlul Quader Chowdhury. Hindus of Chittagong and all surrounding areas were killed. The city was set on fire. An entire train was slaughtered, carrying Hindu passengers, in Pahartali.


On the afternoon of 13 February, the Hindus were attacked in broad daylight in the town of Feni, within 200 yards of the S.D.O., the police station and the courts. In the attacks, 45 Hindus were killed, 205 Hindu houses were burnt to ashes and huge amounts of assets were looted. The Hindu women were abducted and forcefully married to Muslims. The Hindus who were trying to flee to the Indian state of Tripura were looted and assaulted on the way. An estimated 5000 Hindus fled to Tripura, and another 7000 were forced to flee, displaced & took refuge in camps in Noakhali.


Even since the Sylhet Referendum, it was propagated that the Hindus had voted against Pakistan and therefore they were the enemies of Pakistan.

203 villages were devastated and more than 800 Hindu religious places were desecrated. Many Hindu girls were raped. The sacred threads of the Brahmins were torn and stamped upon, and their shikhas were cut off. They were forcibly converted to Islam. Whoever refused to convert was stabbed repeatedly.


The Kolkata-bound Assam Mail was attacked. Hindus were forced to flee their homes, and the rape & molestation of Hindu women led to the exodus of Hindus to Maldah district in India.


Hindu houses were looted and set on fire. Mymensingh bound trains from Ashuganj were stopped on the Bhairab Bridge on the Meghna, as reported in the London Economist. Muslim mobs attacked the unsuspecting Hindu passengers from both sides of the train. Whoever tried to jump into the river and swim ashore was attacked with brickbats. An estimated 2000 Hindus were massacred on the Bhairab Bridge. Hindu passengers were attacked at Sarachar railway station as well.


Hindus were forcefully evicted from their houses. The entire Hindu population of Teghari village emigrated to Kolkata.

No. of Hindu students in schools of Dhaka
SchoolTypeJan 1950Dec 1950
Priyanath High SchoolBoys1879
Pogose SchoolBoys58050
K. L. Jubilee SchoolBoys71952
Gandaria High SchoolBoys24510
East Bengal High SchoolBoys20416
Nabakumar InstitutionBoys515
Nari Shiksha MandirGirls2758
Banglabazar Girls High SchoolGirls6062
Anandamayee Girls High SchoolGirls755
Gandaria Girls High SchoolGirls22710

According to researcher A. Roy, 500,000 Hindus were killed in the pogroms, which resulted in the exodus of 4.5 million Hindus into India.




Margaret Bourke-White—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Image